A lot can change in three years--and no one knows that better than Misty Miller. The British musician first caught our attention when, at the tender age of 15, she was one of the Burberry Acoustic's featured artists. With her flower headband and ukulele, she came across more like an innocent forest nymph than a growling rocker.
Today? She favors smokey eyes, electric guitars, and delivering lines like, "Though I despise ya," with a hint of a snarl. Her voice is still gloriously solid, but with just enough teenage seen-it-all angst to feel even more urgent. "It's a grown-up me," Miller says. "I think if you look at any musician there's a progression. As long as it is natural, and as long as it is what they want to do, it should be encouraged."
And if you listen to Girlfriend
, the South London-based musician's new EP (out this week), you'd want to encourage it too. The collection of five songs kicks off at a breakneck, '60s garage band pace and never truly lets up--even in the more introspective songs like "Devil," there's still the soul of a rock'n'roller. "It's blues and rock'n'roll and the '70s New York scene," Miller says of the music that most inspired her sonic evolution, ticking off bands like the Velvet Underground, the Sonics, and Patti Smith as major influencers. "For a lot of people it seems like quite a quick change, style-wise, but I've actually been working on this sound and style for two years now," she notes.
The other reason she was prompted to develop a hard edge--one which has still caught the ears of Christopher Bailey and the rest of the Burberry team, since Miller's cover of the Turtles' "Happy Together" was featured just last week at the British label's fall '13 show--was being the person onstage who she'd like to watch. "The thing that inspired the songs the most is performing, and knowing how I want to perform onstage; I want people to get a kick out of [my live shows]--or maybe it's just me getting a kick out of it!" she jokes, before adding a bit more seriously, "Just feeling more alive."
With another EP dropping in April, and then a slew of tour dates in England before what she hopes to be an active festival season, there should be plenty of opportunities to hold Miller to her word and see her perform live. "It's all coming from a real place," she notes, pausing for a moment before adding, "This is me."
REBECCA WILLA DAVIS
for more info. Want to listen to her new EP? We've got all five songs streaming for free right here!